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    Perplexicon

    I read a blog (very intermittently kept) written by a Korean artist who writes in English, which is not her first language. Her tiny strange observations are often very beautiful and made more so by the flaws in her English, a lot more so, I think, because those flaws can be very illuminatory — that skewing of language can make you look at a thing from a whole different perspective. The accidental nature of some of the beauty she writes makes her observations fresh and astonishing.

    The power I find in the way that young woman writes makes me wonder if a person can almost write more honestly and with more sentipensante in a foreign language. Does writing in your own language make you get too hung up on form and fancyness and shit and ultimately obstruct you from making feelingful meaning and meaningful feeling? I have moments when I really think this might be true.

    How can a maker of any kind of art arrive at a place of technical proficiency without losing the frisson of feeling?

    How can a writer be careful and precise and intelligent with words but not make writing that is prissy or fussy or uptight?

    The protagonist of Martin Amis’s The Rachel Papers says of his own name, “My name is Charles Highway, though you wouldn’t think of it to look at me. It’s such a rangy, well-travelled, big-cocked name.” Man, that speaks to me, with so much resonance. I want to make big-cocked writing in some ways. Not macho, not that at all. But well-travelled and rangy, yes, and unfettered. Unruly, I suppose one might say, but unruly without being undisciplined. How to achieve that is perplexing, to say the least.

    I don’t have the answer to the question, nor even an inkling of what that answer might be. But one thing I am is a good tryer. So I’ll just  keep doing that — trying — until I arrive at a place of wisdom. Cos if you don’t try … well, what else is there?



    Illustration for the Edinburgh Fringe, www.chrissiemacdonald.co.uk
    Illustration for the Edinburgh Fringe by Chrissie MacDonald
    vision make via Samuel Huron's photostream
    The cut-out letters, via ruth.venner's photostream
    The cut-out letters, via ruth.venner's photostream on flickr
    telefon_03 by rune guneriussen from connections series
    telefon 03 from the connections series by rune guneriussen
    Science_Fiction_typography via designyoutrust
    Science Fiction Typography, via Design You Trust
    Quiet Time by Leah Tepper Byrne, 2009, via heyhotshot
    Quiet Time by Leah Tepper, 2009, via Hey, Hot Shot!
    Phrenology Bust Quilt via cadmiumred's photostream
    Phrenology bust quilt by Rebecca Macri, via cadmiumred's photostream on flickr
    ruiznewsstand
    Newsstand by Francesc Ruiz, via SanArt
    Perplexicon Tysger Boelens & Gerrit Komrij (red.), Perplexicon Het abc van de nonsens 344 pagina’s Nijgh & Van Ditmar, 2007
    Perplexicon by Tysger Boelens and Gerrit Komrij, via boeklog
    orange interrobang via facsimilemagazine
    Interrobang, via Facsimile Magazine
    nash via www.squareamerica.com
    Image via Square America
    Blackboard, Homer Winslow, 1877, via users.soe.ucsc.edu
    Blackboard by Homer Winslow, 1877
    Instructions for the use of the Olivetti Lettera 22 typewriter, via ffffound.com
    Instructions for the use of the Olivetti Lettera 22 typewriter, via ffffound
    From the Strange Fruit series by Darin Mickey
    From the Strange Fruit series by Darin Mickey
    Dictionary Definitions #7-Elephant, via Mukumbura's photostream
    Dictionary Definitions #7-Elephant, viaMukumbura's photostream on flickr
    Although I have the word 'No' in me I don't like to use it, via id-iom's photostream
    Although I have the word 'No' in me I don't like to use it, via id-iom's photostream on flickr
    A Dissection of the Mutation of Fear and the Afraid, via kthro's photostream
    A Dissection of the Mutation of Fear and the Afraid, via kthro's photostream via flickr
    2 Comments

    one of the reasons i enjoy gogol bordello’s music so much is that it’s written by a ukrainian, in english, with what i have to assume is a deliberate effort at what you’re talking about (because i don’t think you can simultaneously speak a language that badly *and* that well… AND make it rhyme.) the effect of the butchered phrasing – whether purposeful or not – makes the point that much more eloquently.

    rache added these words on Mar 09 10 at 3:54 pm

    I suspect that idiosyncratic expression that verges on the poetical among two who don’t quite share a fluent language helps romances among those along. So I hold you partly responsible for this: http://eniastoa.livejournal.com/390543.html

    eniastoa added these words on Mar 10 10 at 5:48 am



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